Every now and again I run across a turn of phrase so damn clever that it requires immediate dissemination to everyone I know. Such was the case with Daniel Gross‘s otherwise very respectful review of economist Jeffrey Sachs’s new book, Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet in this past weekend’s New York Times Book Review. After singing its praises for most of his review, Gross quips
Sachs too frequently lapses into a sort of reductio ad PowerPoint. It seems every catastrophe can be averted if we take fewer than 10 simple steps. Sachs presents “four compelling reasons why the poorest countries need to speed the demographic transition,” “a list of seven requirements to enable family planning programs to accelerate the decline in fertility” and “six steps to transform” American “security policy into a workable framework for the 21st century.”
Maybe it was the little thrill of seeing a Latinate/geekspeak mash up, or just the fact that, structurally, PowerPoint and absurdum are in parallel, but it made my evening. Sometimes it’s the little things….